Archive for June, 2011

July 4th Eating Contest

We celebrate Independence Day on July 4th with fireworks, barbecues and the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest (sorry non-New Yorkers, this is a Coney Island affair).  As a reward for stuffing his or her pie-hole, the winner takes home $5,000 in cash and global acclaim in the Major League Eating book of world records.

As a native New Yorker (and a sicko for liking to watch people stuff their faces), I particularly look forward to this event.  I remember when Takeru Kobayashi slammed in a nice 50 hot dogs in 12 minutes, and then, when Joey Chestnut broke the record with 59.5.  Chestnut stated of his rival, “He wanted it, but I needed it.”  Source: funniest article ever.

In 2009, Chestnut maxed out at 68 dogs (both bun and dog) in 10 minutes–no easy feat.  Hard work goes into becoming a top competitor.  It takes months of prep to successfully inflate the belly with excessive water and fibrous foods in order to help distend the stomach.  Note: this is not a feat of strength that we recommended any of you do 🙂

Chestnut is going for his five-time world championship this year.

Why Should I Eat Breakfast?

If you think you are a rebel for skipping breakfast and sleeping in, think again.  Breakfast everyday sharpens the mind, keeps energy levels high, and the fat poundage off.  How can one meal be this magical?

Why Breakfast is Merlin Magical

B-FAST SHARPENS YOUR MIND.  After you are fasting all evening, and hopefully sleeping soundly, breaking the fast will help reload your glucose stores, which is the only fuel upon which the brain can function.  Lots of studies even showed that children outperformed their peers, just by eating breakfast!  Read those studies here.

Quick tip: glucose comes from carbohydrates.  But get the good ones through whole grains and fruit versus high sugary drinks and multi-colored cereals, i.e., fruit loops.

B-FAST KEEPS ENERGY LEVELS HIGH.  Skipping the morning meal means low glycogen stores.  Our glycogen stores are where we get to build up all of the carbohydrate calories we consume through fruits, veggies, starchy veggies, breads, grains, pastas, nuts, beans legumes, and seeds.  Not having your glycogen stores topped off will help you feel good and slow.  Your best energy does not come from consuming only protein and fats — adding healthy carbohydrates will provide vigor and better focus.

Quick tip: Add protein to your carb choices to prolong the feeling of fullness.  Try two eggs on toast with a slice of cheese.

B-FAST HELPS KEEP THE WAIST SMALL.  Skipping the morning meal will also keep you nibbling those calories later on.  According to The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), a group that tracks people who have kept off 30 pounds or more for at least a year, showed that 78% of success stories ate breakfast everyday and 90% of the success stories ate breakfast five days per week.  Breakfast is a key strategy to keeping off the excess pounds.

Quick Tip: Not looking to have a huge meal in the morning?  A banana with some cottage cheese will suffice.

Integrate Into Your Day

If you are not convinced yet, feel free to talk to Mr. Breakfast 🙂  If so, here are some suggestions; choose one-two from each of the sources:

1. As your carbohydrate source: banana, whole wheat bread, oatmeal

2. As your protein source: eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, sausages, milk

3. As your fat source: a thumb of cheese, cream cheese, butter, olive oil or peanut butter

4. As your fruit/veggies source: any fruit or veggie

Exercise’s Role in Building Bone

Parents always say, “drink your milk for healthy bones.”  They are correct due to the high amount of calcium and vitamin D supplied in milk–necessary for the lay down of new bone cells.  But exercise seals the deal.  Why?

Exercise’s Role in Building Bone

When the bone receives a load upon it via some form of physical work, such as weight training or any other exercise that puts a force on the skeleton, the “osteoblasts” (cells that help bone form) will be activated.  The osteoblasts bring calcium into the bone to help strengthen it up.

The Research: Why Start Young

A recent study published in Medicine & Science in Sports Exercise has recently suggested that the opportunity to build bone may happen as early as five years old!  The study found that children with the highest levels of moderate and vigorous physical activity at age five accumulated between 4-14% more bone mineral content at ages eight and 11 than those with the lowest levels of activity.  This suggests that exercise can help increase the propensity toward building bone–especially when starting at a young age.

Another study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that the lower a child’s calcium intake, the more important for daily exercise.  They researched girls and boys ages 8-11 who engaged in 25-40 minutes of physical activity per day AND consumed between 700-800 mg calcium per day.  They found that the group who consumed calcium with the daily physical activity built up and retained the greatest bone mass.

The Recommendations for Exercise for Children and Adults

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and American Heart Association (AHA) recommend that children partake in 60 minutes of some physical activity every day.  For adults, the ACSM and AHA recommends moderately intense cardio 30 minutes per day, five days per week.  If you cannot do that, they recommend vigorous intense cardio 20 minutes per days plus three days a week devoted toward strength training exercises (8-12 repetitions of each exercises two times per week). (1)

If you want to have the strongest bones, strength training should be added at least twice per week to make sure the skeleton receives the greatest exercising load. Here is a WHY TO exercise, in case you have forgotten!

The Recommendations for Calcium & Vitamin D

Peak skeletal growth happens between teenage years and the mid 20s.  Teenagers can accumulate up to 25% of adult bone during that time period. (2) Sadly, sodas (both regular and diet) tend to take the place of nutrient-rich beverages like milk.  As a result, calcium intakes have fallen short of the recommendations for children aged 4-8 to consume 1,000 mg per day.  See the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends below, which details the following most recently updated intakes of calcium and D for children and adults:

Sources

(1) ACSM and AHA Exercise Guidelines

(2) Bailey DA, Martin AD, McKay HA, Whiting S, Mirwald R. Calcium accretion in girls and boys during puberty: a longitudinal analysis. J Bone Miner Res. 2000;15(11):2245-2250.

Dinner Menus: June 27-30

Here’s dinner for the week!  Please view the menu items by clicking on the pictures below.  Dinner is served from Monday to Thursday, at 7 pm.

NYC:

MONDAY: Baja Fresh (Mexican)

TUESDAY: Food Trends (Greek)

WEDNESDAY: Bully’s (Italian)

THURSDAY: Chin Chin (Chinese)

————-

BOSTON:

MONDAY: Bosphorus (Mediterranean)

TUESDAY: Asgard (Irish)

WEDNESDAY: Maggiano’s (Italian)

THURSDAY: Little India (Indian)

Runner’s Etiquette: Part 2

If you missed Part 1 of the Runner’s Etiquette to Rocking the Race, please make sure to read before you proceed.  By now you should have learned the art of targeting your spit, throwing your cup below your waist, and signaling to make a clean pass.  But what should you do if you drop something important?  Shoelace comes undone?  What if you want to strike a pose mid-race?  (See incriminating photo below).

Idiotic Runner Spotting, NYC JPMC 2011

(Continued from previous rules)

RULE #4: Are You Really Posing During a Race?

If you have to bend down and tie your shoe, make a phone call, or (gasp!) pose for a photo, then step off the course.  Even at slow speeds, this type of behavior is very disturbing to fellow walkers and runners.

RULE #5: “Run or Walk No More than Two Abreast”

This rule is common to see in running bulletins.  It means that if you prefer running or walking with company, you shouldn’t invite your entire posse.  Enjoy one friend only so that your gaggle won’t block the road.

RULE #6: Need Help?  Put One Hand on Your Head

Whether during or after the race, placing your hand on your head will signal to the First Aid Station that you are in distress.  If you feel light-headed or faint, it is a good way to get help immediately.

Have some more funny stories or rules to include?  Comment below or email me!

“What Happened to Tom Jauncey?”

“What Happened to Tom Jauncey?”

In order to clear up the confusion, Tom J. has given me permission to share what happened to him during the JPMC.  After crossing the finish line in 21:47 minutes, Tom experienced all of the common signs of severe dehydration (blurry vision, dry mouth, muscle cramps, lightheadedness, confusion, heart palpitations, dry-heaving, and vomiting).  He was rushed to the ER and diagnosed with heat exhaustion, which is the body’s response to an excessive loss of water and salt.  Exercising in a hot environment while not adequately replacing fluids is one of the situations where someone can develop heat exhaustion.  Acute (reversible) kidney failure is one of the complications associated with this condition.

Here, Tom J. takes off at the start-line

Why Would Tom’s Kidneys be Affected?

When dehydration continues without being treated, a person’s blood pressure drops.  When blood pressure drops, blood circulation will also drop throughout the body, which means vital organs like the kidneys won’t be receiving the normal amount of blood.  When any organ in the body does not receive normal blood flow, that organ won’t be able to do its job properly.  Luckily we were able to get Tom the care he needed for a speedy recovery.

What Do You Do When Dehydration Hits?

It is necessary NOT to neglect signs of dehydration (see above).  Next Jumpers tend to have a competitive spirit–Tom’s drive to win held strong as he crossed the finish, but his body had a price to pay. Fortunately, his body has fully recovered from the trauma, but this might not have been the case if the First Aid stations weren’t readily available.

How Do You Avoid this in the Future?

Make sure to follow proper hydration discussed in a previous post.  Besides hydrating, it is also important to consume enough food beforehand.  Food has calories, sodium, and water–sodium is important to consume since it is a major electrolyte lost in sweat and cannot be replaced unless taken in via food or with a sports beverage.  This is why we want to have G2, Propel or Gatorade during a race or hard workout.

Note from Tom J.: “Started Strong……ended…..not so much!”

Runner’s Etiquette: Part 1

Have you ever misjudged the way your spit would land?  Throw a half-finished cup of water at someone?  Cut off fellow-runners when trying to surge through the crowd?  You might be known as an “idiotic runner.”  Like driving a car, a runner should follow some basic rules of the road — not just for safety, but more importantly to avoid the unfortunate “idiotic runner” label.  Here’s part one of Runner’s Etiquette from the Runner’s Guide to Rocking the Race.

Here, John B. expresses his road rage toward passive spectators.

RULE #1: Don’t Spit on Anyone

Scenario: You have a wad of phlegm in your mouth and decide not to look around yourself before hocking and spitting.  Although normally an accurate aim, you mistakenly target the left shoulder of an innocent little runner.

Future fix: If you feel like you have to spit, throw-up, or do a snot-rocket (plugging one nostril with your finger, and blowing out snot projectile from the other nostril), best to move to the side of the road.

Extra tip: If some other normal bodily function has to happen, there are typically port-a-potties throughout a race.  If not, best to try a local store or “pop a squat” where no one’s wandering eyes can spot.

RULE #2: Use “Signaling” to Pass Runners

Scenario: Pissed that you cannot seem to get around slower runners than yourself, you swerve in and out across the course, bumping into a few fellow runners.  In the process you happen to block other runners coming up behind you by aimlessly running back and forth.

Future fix: Just as you would signal left when in a car, your “blinker” is your arm and pointer finger (not your voice since people wear iPods and obviously won’t be aware of their surroundings).  Inform runners who are behind you that you will be passing them simply by extending your arm at the side of your body.  Keep your hand in a fist but hold your pointer finger out into the direction you are trying to pass.  Look behind you to make sure there aren’t any runners approaching behind you.

Extra tip: Like the left lane on a highway, the innermost curve of the course is technically considered the fast-lane.  Sometimes this is not the case and people will walk along this fastest line of the course.  Ideally, every runner would allow the fastest runners competing for time to use this lane.  Since not everyone respects that, however, it is best to pay attention to the gaps in the course when trying to blaze past your fellow runners.

RULE #3: Don’t Block the Water Station!

Scenario: You sprint to the water station, excited to rehydrate, and slow down abruptly.  In the process, you block others from accessing the table and cause the runner behind you to slow down, which is grounds for an accident waiting to happen.

Future fix: Look behind your shoulder to see if there are any runners approaching behind you. Edge into the water station at an even pace, grab the cup, and move out quickly (using the above signaling method).

Extra tip: Throw your cup (hopefully empty so as not to splash other runners) to the side of the road AND away from the course.  Toss the cup low versus over your shoulder.  (Idiotic runners throw their cups up in the air as though it were a graduation hat).

Part Two to come 🙂